This is going to be the shortest preview I have ever written.
Why? Because there is precious little I can say about what is going to happen.
Every Irish rugby fan knows what’s at stake. We also know what Argentina can do to us. And we also know what can happen to us in quarterfinals after topping our pool.
Yet the evidence so far suggests that for every one thing that can go wrong on Sunday, not only will Joe & his coaching staff have thought of it and be ready, they would have also thought of another three different things and be ready for them as well.
On the team selection, it’s not the one I expected, but nor will it be that which the Pumas expected. Cynics will say Jordi & Rhys have been included because they play for Leinster, but realists will know they both bring plenty of value to the squad as well as being players on whom our opposition won’t have a whole lot of recent intel.
The bookies have Ireland by 4 points. I’m quietly confident of a wider final margin, but I do believe it will be that close as we approach the final 10-15 minutes and it will take a late score to seal the deal. I’m going for 8-10 myself, but like pretty much everyone else watching wearing green, I will gladly take 1.
One thing we can do is use social media for one of it’s greatest sporting uses...letting the lads know they have our full support and confidence.
Let’s stand #ShoulderToShoulder and hopefully we can watch history be made. JLP
Shortly after this preview was published it was announced that Johnny Sexton was in actual fact unable to play for Ireland on Sunday.
A few thoughts :
(1) There seem to be a few noses put out of joint on Irish social media that Joe etc effectively “lied” at the press conference yesterday. in naming Sexton to start. The way I see it, since they have to announce a team 48 hrs before kickoff, then if there’s any doubt over a player and the rules state you can still replace him up to the last minute, then what else would you do BUT name him at the specified time?
(2) If we were fooled, then so were Argentina and even if it affects their prep a tiny bit that would be something.
(3) On Ian Madigan, I just have this tweet :
#InMadDogWeTrust #COYBIG #ShoulderToShoulder #FourProudProvinces— Harpin' On Rugby (@HarpinOnRugby) October 17, 2015
#COYBIG #ShoulderToShoulder #FourProudProvinces #TrustJoe